Disclaimers: Not mine, belong to Pet Fly. No money, tons of satisfaction.

Thanks to my phenomenal betas, Zoe and Ari, without whom my life would be bleak and grammatically incorrect.

Thank you, wolfpup for the great home.

Spoilers: Second Chance Alternate Ending

Warning: H/C, Angst, Death of a minor character

Special Notes: This is a giftfic for my beta, Zoe, who's bored out of her mind on enforced bedrest and can't stand the minor character whom I have slayed. Love ya, babe.


MATTERS OF THE HEART

Sam Mallory


Jim sighed heavily and spoke to Simon over the radio in the Expedition. "We got the codes, Simon, but Alcante took off with them to go find Maya on his own. I'm heading toward the marina now. They said something about Slip 24. Send backup."

"No problem, Jim. Backup is on the way. Cascade Marina, Slip 24," Simon replied, grabbing his coat and heading for the door.

Jim tossed the radio into the seat next to him and pulled into the marina. He parked next to Alcante's limo finding his guards dead. Glancing up, Jim saw the reflection of a gunman behind him. Jim rolled to his left and coming up on one knee fired off two shots, hitting the gunman in the chest.

Jim shook his head to clear the dizziness from his earlier encounter with Alcante. He turned up his hearing as shots rang out over the marina. Grabbing his ears, he was driven to his knees, but shook it off and raced toward slip 24.


Blair watched with anticipation as his guard turned toward Francisco when he heard the shots. Gathering his strength to deal with the gunman, he pushed the man's gun hand wide and struck his assailant with all he had. The gunman staggered under the assault, but countered quickly with a front kick to Sandburg's midsection resulting in a crunch. Blair doubled over from the fire in his ribs and glanced upward as the gunman brought his gun down, splitting open Blair's forehead at his temple. Blair collapsed under the blow and fell into deep oblivion.


Jim looked up onto the yacht and saw Gustavo stagger as he took a round to the torso.

"Hold it right there," Jim commanded.

The gunman spun around just as Jim fired the shot that brought the man down. He glanced down, mindful of Sandburg's unconscious form and bent down to check for a pulse. Satisfied that his partner was merely unconscious, Jim raced forward to help Gustavo.

"Gustavo, please watch over Blair," Jim voiced as he took off after Francisco.

"No problem," Gustavo replied tiredly.

Jim anticipated Francisco's direction and tucked his gun into his belt as he prepared to take down the killer. He cleared the railing bringing down Francisco, who quickly recovered. The men circled each other as Maya scrambled back in an effort to stay out of the way.

Francisco caught Jim with a powerful roundhouse kick that knocked him backward. Stumbling, Jim recovered and punched Francisco twice in his midsection. Francisco doubled over coming upright with a knife in his right hand. Adopting a more accommodating stance, Jim dodged his lunge and flinched momentarily as he heard Maya cry out behind him. Jim took advantage of Francisco's lack of balance and flipped him over slamming him into the ground, where he remained.

Jim rushed over to Maya's crumpled form.

"Maya? How bad are you hurt?" he asked worriedly.

Maya groaned. "Oh... hurts... Blair," she cried out softly, gasping for breath.

Jim turned her gently to her back and began to examine the wound. It was a deep chest wound and from the gurgling he could hear in her chest, he knew that her lung had collapsed.

"We need a medic over here!" Jim shouted across the slip.

Jim held onto her hand, whispering comfort, until the paramedics could arrive. Hearing Blair's increased heart rate, he looked over Maya's fallen form to see his partner listing to the side with tears running down his face. Blair dragged his battered body to Maya and collapsed next to her, gently caressing her face.

"Hold on, Maya," Blair begged as he cursed the paramedics for taking their own sweet time. He gently placed his hand on her forehead, and then pushed her wavy brown hair back from her face. "Oh, Maya," he cried while the tears streamed down his face.

Maya's unfocused eyes searched out Blair until she heard his voice. "It's... too... late, Blair. Lo siento..." she finished as her head lolled to the side away from him.

Blair caressed her face as he leaned over her crying. Jim softly tried to pull his friend away. "She's gone, Blair," Jim whispered.

Blair shrugged out of Jim's support and crumpled next to Maya's body. The paramedics arrived and began to treat a reticent Blair.

Simon walked up behind the scene. "How's Sandburg?" he whispered to Jim.

"Hurting, but he'll be okay," Jim replied softly.

"The FBI came and retrieved Gustavo," Simon informed his best detective.

"How is it that he's the criminal and I'm the one who feels badly about his apprehension?" Jim asked shaking his head.

As they rounded Simon's car, another dark blue sedan pulled up and a stiff suit got out of the car. "I'm here for Gustavo Alcante," he inquired handing the stunned men his paperwork.

Jim smiled, shaking his head knowingly. "I'll let you take care of this sir and meet you at Cascade General." Jim climbed into the Expedition and went to find his partner.


"The doctor said you can go ahead and come home if you want to, Chief," Jim started.

"'kay," Blair replied as he began to pull on his clothes. He stiffly finished dressing as Jim picked up his pain pills at the hospital pharmacy.

Jim returned to the room to find Blair settled quietly in a chair facing out the window.

"You ready to go, Chief?" Jim asked quietly.

"Sure," Blair replied despondently. He dragged himself up from the chair, his face void of expression, and made his way to the Expedition.

"Blair, are you alright?" Jim questioned worriedly, as he started the truck and headed back to the loft.

"No," Blair replied sorrowfully.

"For what it's worth, Chief, I'm sorry about Maya."

"Thanks, Jim," Blair whispered as he turned to watch the scenes go by the window.

The End